Friday, August 21, 2015

Special-needs children being handcuffed, paddled, arrested

Over at Oklahoma Watch, Nate Robson has an important story about the punishment of special-needs students in Oklahoma.
In Jenks Public Schools, campus police physically restrained and handcuffed a second-grade special education student. 
His crime? He ran to the playground to escape a noisy classroom. 
At Tulsa Public Schools, officials called a father and told him to pick up his 6-year-old daughter, who was having an emotional meltdown. He arrived to find four armed campus police officers holding her down, saying she assaulted one of them. 
In the Deer Creek School District in Edmond, a member of the school staff slapped an autistic child on two occasions, but a judge tossed out the federal lawsuit, saying the employees acted out of frustration. 
The discipline trend has angered and frustrated some Oklahoma parents and triggered calls for reform from groups that advocate for special-needs children. They say excessive discipline is hurting students academically and psychologically. Across the state, students with physical and mental disabilities are bearing much of the brunt of classroom discipline, government data show. They’re more likely than their peers to be suspended, expelled, arrested, handcuffed or paddled. In dozens of schools, special education students are anywhere from two to 10 times more likely to be disciplined, the data show. At some schools, every special education student has been physically disciplined, suspended or expelled.
I encourage you to read the whole thing here. And on the positive side, it's important to remember that these children have an escape hatch.

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